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and Afghan troops encountered skilled sharpshooters and better-fortified Taliban positions Thursday, indicating that insurgent resistance in their logistics and opium-smuggling centre was far from crushed

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About two dozen Marines were inserted into an area where skilled Taliban marksmen are known to operate, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

U.S. and Afghan troops encountered skilled sharpshooters and better-fortified Taliban positions Thursday, indicating that insurgent resistance in their logistics and opium-smuggling centre was far from crushed.

Special Report: Afghanistan

CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark, embedded with U.S. Marines on the frontline, said she could hear single-shot sniper rounds on top of the machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades as Lima Company engaged militants in an intense firefight.

The sniper fire was an added threat on top of the homemade bombs, or IEDs, which the Taliban planted in vast numbers across Marjah, adds Clark.

“Yesterday, our convoy hit one, and just moments ago on the same main bit of road, another convoy hit an IED,” Clark told “The Early Show” via phone from the front.

More coverage from CBS News Correspondent Mandy Clark:

Marines Reach out to Marjah PopulationMarines Drive Into Afghan StrongholdMarines Engage Taliban on Edge of MarjahAfghanistan: Life on the Frontline

A Marine general said Thursday that U.S. and Afghan allied forces do now control the main roads and markets in Marjah, but fighting has raged on elsewhere in the southern farming town. A British general said he expected it would take another month to secure the town.

NATO said six international service members died Thursday, bringing the number of allied troops killed in the offensive to 11 NATO troops and one Afghan soldier. The international coalition did not disclose their nationalities, 인천출장샵 but Britain’s Defense Ministry said two British soldiers were among the dead.

No precise figures on Taliban deaths have been released, but senior Marine officers say intelligence reports suggest more than 120 have died. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release the information.

Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of U.S. Marines in Marjah, told The Associated Press that allied forces have taken control of the main roads, bridges and government centers in Marjah, a town of about 80,000 people located 360 miles southwest of Kabul.

“I’d say we control the spine” of the town, Nicholson said as he inspected the Marines’ front line in the north of the dusty, mud-brick town. “We’re where we want to be.”

As Nicholson spoke, bursts of heavy machine-gun fire in the near distance showed that insurgents still hold terrain about a half-mile away.

“Every day, there’s not a dramatic change. It’s steady,” he said, noting that fighting continues to erupt.

The offensive in Marjah is the biggest since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, and a test of President Barack Obama’s strategy for reversing the rise of the Taliban while protecting civilians.

Plans call for NATO to rush in a civilian administration, restore public services and pour in aid to try to win the loyalty of the population in preventing the Taliban from returning.

But stubborn Taliban resistance, coupled with restrictive rules on allies’ use of heavy weaponry when civilians may be at risk, have slowed the advance through the town. The NATO commander of troops in southern Afghanistan, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, told reporters in Washington via a video hookup that he expects it could take another 30 days to secure Marjah.

NATO has given no figures on civilian deaths since a count of 15 earlier in the offensive. Afghan rights groups have reported 19 dead. Since those figures were given, much of the fighting has shifted away from the heavily built-up area, where most civilians live.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly criticized the use of air strikes and other long-range weaponry because of the risk to civilians. Twelve of the 15 deaths reported by NATO happened when two rockets hit a home on Sunday.

The allied troops have to go to great lengths to distinguish insurgents from civilians. Marines detained one man Thursday as he left a compound they had taken fire from. He had no weapon but a quick test found gunpowder residue on his hands – sufficient grounds to arrest him.

Soldiers tied the suspect’s hands behind his back and covered his face with a shawl while he sat cross-legged on the ground waiting to be hauled away.

Throughout Thursday, U.S. Marines pummeled insurgents with mortars, sniper fire and missiles as gun battles intensified. Taliban fighters fired back with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, some of the fire far more accurate than Marines have faced in other Afghan battles.

The increasingly accurate sniper fire – and strong intelligence on possible suicide bomb threats – indicated that insurgents from outside Marjah are still operating within the town, Nicholson said.

There were also pockets of calm Thursday. Some families returned to their homes, their donkeys laden with their belongings. Several stores reopened in the bullet-riddled bazaar in the north of town, and customers lined up to buy goods for the first time in nearly a week.

One Marjah farmer said the Taliban broke into his home and used it to fire on the troops.

“We couldn’t do anything when one of them was forcing his way into our house. What could we do?” said Sayed Wakhan, a sunburned, middle-aged opium poppy farmer in northern Marjah.

But Wakhan, who spoke to reporters as he mixed mud to make repairs on his house, also said he didn’t trust the government forces who now occupy his neighborhood.

“I have suffered at the hands of police, and I don’t like the international forces coming into our area,” he snapped. His remarks were a reminder of the tough job ahead for NATO and Afghan authorities in winning over locals used to an uneasy peace under the Taliban.

Also Thursday, a NATO air strike in northern Afghanistan missed a group of insurgents and killed seven Afghan policemen, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

A NATO statement acknowledged the report and said it and the ministry were investigating.

In eastern Afghanistan, eight Afghan policemen defected to the Taliban, according to Mirza Khan, the deputy provincial police chief.

The policemen abandoned their posts in central Wardak province’s Chak district and joined the militants there, he said. One of them had previous ties to the Taliban, he said, but would not elaborate.

“These policemen came on their own and told us they want to join with the Taliban. Now they are with us,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Muhajid said.

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The Lohans were close to an agreement on a divorce settlement in 2005, but that deal collapsed while Michael was serving a prison term for drunken driving, brawling and other charges

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“You have both demonstrated to me extraordinarily good judgment in resolving this matter as you did,” state Supreme Court Justice Robert A. Ross told Michael and Dina Lohan.

Terms of the divorce agreement, which will become official within 60 days, weren’t disclosed. Dina Lohan has custody of the couple’s two minor children, Aliana, 13, and Dakota, 10.

Neither Lindsay, 21, nor her brother Michael, 19, were involved in the divorce proceedings since they are no longer minors.

Dina Lohan said, “Now the healing process can begin for my children and myself.”

She said Lindsay, who was arrested last month in Santa Monica, Calif., on suspicion of driving under the influence and cocaine possession, is doing “fantastic.”

The “Mean Girls” star faces an Aug. 24 court date in connection with that arrest.

The Lohans were close to an agreement on a divorce settlement in 2005, 부산출장샵 but that deal collapsed while Michael was serving a prison term for drunken driving, brawling and other charges.

He was released in March and entered a Christian-based drug and rehabilitation center in West Babylon. He has repeatedly said Lindsay needs the same kind of treatment.

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An unblemished operation also requires silence and invisibility with no trace of a crime and no evidence you were ever there}

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The team of foreigners who assassinated a senior Palestinian Hamas man in Dubai in January surely knew there are cameras everywhere. The Dubai police chief says some of the dubious passports in this caper were used last year for reconnaissance visits, where Israeli intelligence officers would have noted the unblinking lenses. There is also no getting around the fact that in this day and age, authorities can check almost instantly with other governments on whether travel documents are genuine or 경기도출장샵 bogus. The Mossad took a calculated risk.

The basic tactical goal of this kind of clandestine operation is to kill your target and get back to base without losing any of your own team members. The Dubai caper was a success but not perfect.

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Florida abortion law faces new legal challenge

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강남출장마사지-후불출장마사지 Vvip미출장안마cnfwkddksakTALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A federal judge is being asked to block additional parts of a contentious Florida abortion law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a lawsuit late Monday on behalf of several ministers, rabbis and organizations that provide abortion counseling services to women.

The lawsuit contends that the law violates constitutional rights by requiring groups to register with the state and pay a fee if they advise or help women seek abortions. The lawsuit also challenges a provision requiring groups to tell women about alternatives to abortion.

Legislators passed the sweeping abortion measure during their 2016 session. A federal judge already blocked two parts of the law this summer, and the administration of Gov. Rick Scott didn’t appeal the decision. 

The parts of the law blocked this summer would have prevented state funds from going to organizations that provide abortions.

One part of the law required increased abortion clinic inspections.

Similar to a Texas law struck down earlier this week by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Florida law also requires doctors who perform abortions to have privileges at a nearby hospital. No challenges to that part of the law have been filed yet.

The court action this week was just a new chapter in a long-running battle over abortion in the Sunshine State. Since the GOP assumed control of the Florida Legislature two decades ago, legislators have enacted a series of bills only to see many of them overturned in the courts. The Florida Supreme Court in April suspended a 24-hour waiting period for 대구출장샵 abortions while it decides whether that law is constitutional.  

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A schizophrenic, he lived on the streets of Cleveland and Los Angeles for 35 years until Lopez saw him playing the violin one day near a statue of his musical idol, Ludwig van Beethoven

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Foxx will play a brilliant but mentally troubled musician in a movie based on the true-life friendship between Skid Row prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.

The DreamWorks SKG movie, directed by Joe Wright, is scheduled to begin filming in January.

“Erin Brockovich” writer Susannah Grant has completed the screenplay, said Gary Foster, who is producing the movie with Russ Krasnoff. Lopez’s role hasn’t been cast yet.

Ayers was attending New York’s famed Juilliard School on a music scholarship when he suffered a mental breakdown at age 20. A schizophrenic, he lived on the streets of Cleveland and 부산출장샵 Los Angeles for 35 years until Lopez saw him playing the violin one day near a statue of his musical idol, Ludwig van Beethoven.

Lopez did a series of columns on Ayers, and readers immediately responded, giving him musical instruments and inviting him to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“A couple members of the orchestra started hanging out with him,” Lopez said.

The columnist, meanwhile, helped Ayers secure a modest downtown apartment where he now has a music studio.

Lopez’s book about their friendship, tentatively titled “The Soloist,” is expected to be published next spring.

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Baradar was captured in a joint Pakistani-U.S

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Islamabad, however, is sticking by it’s insistence that it’s received no formal request to turn him over and that he could be tried first in Pakistan.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of at least three Afghan Taliban commanders who have been captured in recent weeks in Pakistan, where militants have also sustained blows from suspected U.S. missile strikes, including four killed Wednesday in an al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold in northwest Pakistan, intelligence officials said.

Meanwhile, an Afghan official said Thursday that Pakistani officials had confirmed the arrest of another top Taliban commander, Abdul Kabir. Siamak Herawi, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said Thursday that Kabir was detained a week ago in Pakistan.

The arrest of Kabir, who ran Taliban operations in eastern Afghanistan, is part of a recent crackdown on insurgents in Pakistan that included the arrest of Baradar.

Pakistan has agreed to transfer Baradar to Afghan custody, according to sources in the Afghan Interior Ministry and Presidential Palace, who spoke to CBS News’ Fazul Rahim on condition of anonymity.

The agreement came after the Afghan Minister of Interior met Pakistan’s Prime Minister and made the request on behalf of President Karzai, reports Rahim. The officials played down any significance of visiting FBI director Robert Mueller’s presence in the negotiations, but the move to Afghan custody will give U.S. interrogators much greater access to Baradar.

The date and details of the handover have not been set, but the sources tell Rahim it is expected in the near future.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Islamabad was expecting a formal request from the Afghan government to hand over Baradar, but the ministry issued a statement saying that no transfer was imminent.

“Pakistan will make legal scrutiny and also investigate the criminal acts done by Mullah Baradar, including his illegal entry into Pakistan,” the statement said. “If Mullah Baradar has committed any crime inside Pakistan, he will be first tried in Pakistan.”

However, a senior Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity to CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari, says the public denial of a deal to hand Baradar over is meant primarily to try and limit public outcry from political opponents in Pakistan.

The official told CBS that, “without the FBI director’s visit, we would not have yielded ground,” though he said there was agreement on all sides that admitting a prominent U.S. role in the negotiations would be counterproductive.

Baradar was captured in a joint Pakistani-U.S. operation in the southern city of Karachi early this month, and has given some useful information to Pakistani interrogators, Pakistani officials have said. It is unclear if American officials have had direct access to Baradar.

Malik said last week that Pakistan would not hand the Afghan suspects to U.S. authorities but would return them to their countries of origin if there was no proof they had committed crimes in Pakistan. The comment reflected the government’s sensitivity to widespread anger among many Pakistanis who think Islamabad too often does Washington’s bidding.

The arrests and missile strikes against militants are occurring amid signs of deeper cooperation between Islamabad and Washington — amid long-standing suspicions that Pakistani security officials retain links with the militant movement.

On Wednesday, three suspected U.S. missiles hit a compound and a vehicle in Dargah Mandi area of North Waziristan tribal region, said intelligence officials, 부산출장샵 who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record. The identities of the dead were not immediately clear, they said.

The area hit was a stronghold of the Haqqani network, an Afghan Taliban faction that is considered a major threat to U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan. A missile strike in the same region last week killed Mohammad Haqqani, a son of the network’s aging leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, officials said.

In Islamabad, FBI Director Robert Mueller met Pakistani and Afghan officials for talks on counterterrorism cooperation. Mueller also met separately with top officials at Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. The statement offered few details, and did not mention if Baradar was discussed at the talks.

U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, who oversees the war in Afghanistan, said the arrests of the Afghan Taliban suspects were the result of intelligence breakthroughs, and dismissed the idea that Pakistan acted against Baradar because he may have been involved in reconciliation talks with the Afghan government and it wanted to get a seat at the table by arresting him.

“I wouldn’t share your characterizations that, in a sense, (the Pakistanis) have always had this intelligence,” Petraeus told reporters late Tuesday. “What has happened is that there has been some important breakthroughs.”

Over the past 18 months, Pakistan has undertaken several army offensives in the northwest against Islamist militants. Those operations have mostly targeted militants attacking the Pakistani state, not militants fighting U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Petraeus said Pakistan still made distinctions between such groups, but that there appears to be an “evolution” in that it now sees them as increasingly entwined.

Also Wednesday, the bodies of two men alleged by militants to be U.S. spies were discovered in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan.

Each had a note attached accusing the victim of spying for the Americans and warning other informants they faced the same fate, area resident Akram Ullah said. Another witness, Sana Ullah, said one man was a local tribal elder and the other was Afghan.

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Time for Leveson 2

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Hugh Grant has settled his phone-hacking lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers in London. The actor, who will be paid a reported six figures for the settlement, will donate the money to the anti-hacking advocacy group Hacked Off. 

The “Paddington” star came down hard on the Mirror in a statement on Hacked Off, saying that he was determined to find out the depth of the media group’s cover-ups. Grant said, “A number of its senior employees, including executives, editors and journalists, condoned, encouraged or actively turned a blind eye to the widespread culture of unlawful information-gathering activities at all three of its newspapers for many years and actively sought to conceal its wrongdoing from its many victims of intrusion.” 

The Mirror Group just formally admitted high level concealment of illegal practices. Time for Leveson 2. No more delays from a Prime Minister obedient to tabloid owners and editors. https://t.co/sNo0OnDGav

Grant name-checked former Mirror Group editors Piers Morgan, Richard Wallace, Tina Weaver, Neil Wallis, Mark Thomas and James Scott, saying that “phone-hacking and other unlawful information-gathering took place on an industrial scale.” He added that Weaver, Wallace, Thomas and Scott “were all phone-hackers themselves” and 경기도출장샵 said Morgan and Wallis were “so incompetent as to not to know the real source of scores of exclusives that they published, or they were complicit in the criminal conduct.”

In court, Grant’s lawyer, Anjlee Saigol, alleged that Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) misused Grant’s information retrieved by hacking his voicemails, masquerading as other people and surveillance between 1998 and 2009, reports the BBC. 

MGN admitted to unlawfully obtaining Grant’s information. Company spokesperson Alex Wilson said, “MGN accepts that the unlawful interception of voicemail messages and procurement of private information about Mr. Grant and others should never have happened. MGN acknowledges that was morally wrong and deeply regrets the wrongful acts of its former employees which caused damage and distress to those affected, including Mr. Grant.”

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Morgan, Wallace and Weaver previously denied knowing anything about phone hacking at the Mirror, but a court ruled in 2015 that their statements were “wrong, not just disingenuous,” per the BBC. 

Morgan did not seem very remorseful, posting a 1990s mug shot of Grant in response to news of the settlement. 

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The remaining support troops are to be gone by the end of 2011

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Earlier this week, 대구출장샵 Odierno said the timeline for combat withdrawal could change if he sees problems with the formation of a new Iraqi government following elections next month. A series of pre-election shooting and car bombing attacks swept the country today, killing 22 people in all.

One of the big problems Mr. Obama faces is what to call the combat unit that remains behind after Aug. 31, 2010, which is the date George W. Bush negotiated for combat troop withdrawal. Some 50,000 troops — not combat forces — will remain behind to help train Iraqi security forces.

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“The outcome of the past period was in favor of the resisting powers in the region,” he said, adding that reinforcing ties among regional countries was the “only way” for an independent decision. His words seemed a quick and an indirect reply to U.S. desires, only one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that the Obama administration is urging Syria to move away from its “deeply troubling” relationship with Tehran. Instead, Syria decided to strengthen its ties to Iran. Prior to the press conference, foreign ministers of Syria and Iran, Walid al-Muallim and Manouchehr Mottaki, signed an agreement to abolish visa requirements between the countries. Under the agreement, citizens of both countries can stay in the country without a visa for 90 days and can enter and leave the country without a visa for six months. “I am really surprised how they talk about stability in the Middle East, peace and other beautiful principles and they call two countries, any two countries and not necessarily Syria and Iran, to keep distance,” Assad continued. “We need to further reinforce relations if the true objective is stability. We do not want others to give us lessons on our region, our history. We can determine how things should go and we know our interests… (but) we thank them for their advices.” the Syrian leader told reporters. Iran’s president said the superpowers can no longer dictate and order other countries from oversees. “(The Americans) want to dominate the region but they feel Iran and Syria are preventing that,” Ahmadinejad said. “We tell them that instead of interfering in the region’s affairs, to pack their things and leave.” “Syria and Iran will stay together. We will remain so until the end and there will be no distance between us,” he commented, calling on the “Zionist entity not to repeat the mistakes of the past one more time as that would mean its doomed end.” Ahmadinejad was expected to see in the Syrian capital Lebanon’s Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Palestinian Hamas Movement leader Khaled Meshaal amid rising tension between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Syria’s foreign minister Walid Mouallem publicly blamed Israel last week for “spreading an atmosphere of war,” and warned that Damascus would not hesitate to strike deep into Israeli territory if provoked. He said plainly that a conflict would be “all-out,” regardless of whether “it hits southern Lebanon or Syria.” His remarks were a response to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s own comments a few days earlier that the absence of a peace agreement with Syria could trigger a new Middle East war. Nasrallah recently stated that Israel cannot afford an unwinnable war and blithely threatened an eye for an eye with the Jewish state. Bubbling accusations that Israel’s Mossad spy agency was behind the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mahbouh last month in Dubai have more spiraled regional anger. Muallem, in the same press conference he gave with his Austrian counterpart, said his country was determined to help Iran and the West engage in a “constructive” dialogue over Tehran’s contested nuclear program. Western governments suspect that the nuclear program in Iran — which earlier this month started higher grade uranium enrichment — is cover for a drive to produce a bomb. Iran, which has already been slapped with three sets of U.N. sanctions over its uranium enrichment, denies it has any such ambition and insists the atomic program is solely for peaceful purposes. Damascus has been Tehran’s major regional ally for the past three decades. Assad visited Tehran last August, and Ahmadinejad paid a visit to Syria last May. Syria also plays a key role for any brokering of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and controls a long border with Iraq that used to be the main point of entry for foreign Iraqi insurgents. Under President Obama, the United States started talking to Syria’s government, in contrast to a policy of isolation under former President George W. Bush. The U.S. road to dealing with Iran’s policy on Iraq, its nuclear program and much else may now be passing through Damascus. Syria, in turn, argues that Washington should make every effort to force Israel to accept the Arab peace initiative. Damascus wants to regain the strategic Golan Heights, an enclave Israel captured during the 1967 Mideast War. It has offered peace in exchange. Last week, William Burns, America’s most senior foreign service officer, held talks in Damascus with the country’s head of state, and Robert Ford, the current deputy chief of mission in Iraq, received an ambassadorial nomination to represent U.S. interests in Syria. Such steps will formally reopen diplomatic relations between the two countries, which had been suspended in 2005. Last week, eight years after being lumped into the axis of evil and five years since the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the U.S. State Department lifted an advisory that warned travelers about visiting Syria in hopes of warming relations. After the press conference, both leaders went hand-in-hand to celebrate the birthday of the prophet Mohammed in a mosque in Damascus.

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“I am really surprised how they talk about stability in the Middle East, peace and other beautiful principles and they call two countries, any two countries and not necessarily Syria and Iran, to keep distance,” Assad continued

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“We assume that we are basically in front of an entity that may undertake an aggression at any time as long as its history is founded on aggression. Regardless of latest Israeli statements, we are always preparing ourselves for any Israeli aggression, whether large or small,” Assad told a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mens Silver Pewter USA Navy Saint St Michael Military Protection Medal W Chain N | eBay“Our answer to these Israeli statements is obvious: we have to be ready at any time, in every moment, to confront any Israeli aggression that may be launched for any reason and under any justification,” Assad 인천출장샵 added in reply to a question.

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